When I was but a little lad, my old Grandfather said
That none should wind the clock but he, and so, at time for bed,
He’d fumble for the curious key kept high upon the shelf
And set aside that little task entirely for himself.
In time Grandfather passed away, and so that duty fell
Unto my Father, who performed the weekly custom well;
He held that clocks were not to be by careless persons wound,
And he alone should turn the key or move the hands around.
I envied him that little task, and wished that I might be
The one to be entrusted with the turning of the key;
But year by year the clock was his exclusive bit of care
Until the day the angels came and smoothed his silver hair.
To-day the task is mine to do, like those who’ve gone before
I am a jealous guardian of that round and glassy door,
And ’til at my chamber door God’s messenger shall knock
To me alone shall be reserved the right to wind the clock.